No doubt Bill Gates is the richest man in the world. While Bill Gates has a schedule that’s planned down to the minute, the entrepreneur-turned-billionaire-humanitarian still gobbles up about a book a week.
According to TIME, they went through the past five years of his book criticism to find the ones that he gave glowing reviews and that changed his perspective.
1. Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012 by Carol Loomis
2. Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization by Vaclav Smil
3. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
4. Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Tim Geithner
5. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker
6. The Man Who Fed the World by Leon Hesser
7. Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks
Back in 1991, Gates asked Buffett what his favorite book was.
To reply, Buffett sent the Microsoft founder his personal copy of Business Adventures, a collection of New Yorker stories by John Brooks.
Though the anecdotes are from half a century ago, the book remains Gates’ favorite.
Gates says that the book serves as a reminder that the principles for building a winning business stay constant. He writes:
For one thing, there’s an essential human factor in every business endeavor. It doesn’t matter if you have a perfect product, production plan and marketing pitch; you’ll still need the right people to lead and implement those plans.
Learning of the affections that Gates and Buffett have for this title, the business press has fallen similarly in love with the book. Slate quipped that Business Adventures is “catnip for billionaires.”
8. The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin